Monday, March 27, 2006

Angry letter

Here's a copy of my email to ITV over the programme 'It's My LIfe' hosted by the irreplaceable Terry Christian...

I am sat watching this 'debate' programme with a mix of horror, awe and outrage. The subject of 'Religion and Tolerance' is bitterly ironic as it contains a horribly simple view of one and a remarkable lack of the other.

While I fully understand the right to freedom of expression and the importance of public debate, this programme is nothing but thinly veiled racism, intended to polerise two religious groups. The taunting of Muslim guests with common misconceptions and slurs by host Terry Christian is unacceptable.

Mr Christian may have the right to an opinion, and I understand that his personality is a large part of the show, but his jokes at outdated stereotypes, his constant interrupting and supposed moral outrage at subjects and facts he himself brought up is morally reprehensible. His provocation with loaded questions and ill-informed opinion is professionally disgraceful.

He purports to offer debate, but in truth he is simply stifling serious conversation and causing rifts between religious and social groups. The only voice of reason came from a Church of England Reverend who was shouted down within a minute with a question intended to cause controversy...

As I have been writing this I have heard comments and jokes from Mr Christian about priests with hooks, chopping off hands, abused Muslim women, the middle ages and homosexuality. His constant and persistant silencing of any guest who attempts to offer a reasoned debate betrays his ignorance and lack of professionism. He reminded me of Alan Partridge who, I might remind you, is a parody.

The maybe nothing legally wrong with this tabloid form of provocation, but I would hope that as broadcasters you would at least consider the societal impact of this sort of programme. Constant misrepresentation and the incessant promotion of misunderstanding is incredible irresponsible in this world, and this show is doing no good whatsoever.

For the record, I hold no religious beliefs, belong to no political party and find subjects such as those featured in this programme to be larger and more complex than a black and white issue. ITV should be ashamed of this programme.

David Holloway.

currently listening to: the sound of popcorn being popped

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

1. A burning hot shower on a freshly shaven head.

2. Pastry.

3. Any favourable news about the prosecution of those involved with the Enron scandal.

4. The smell of an unlit cigarette.

5. When the religious right say something overwhelmingly stupid that they destroy their own argument - EG "March of the Penguins proves the existence of God."

6. Richard and Judy.

7. A celebrity tit-slip.

8. Bill O'Reilly / Fox News.

9. A toilet trip when you desperately need one.

10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

currently listening to: Burn - The Cure

Friday, March 17, 2006

Come Trekking

Here is a recent Media Lounge video entitled 'Picard Sings' which is a particular favourite of mine.

I'm mainly posting it to see if I can get embedded video onto my blog.

Hope you enjoy it.

currently listening to: Ween - Puffy Cloud

Global consumption

It isn't until I see production lines that I truly begin to appreciate the scale of the consumption of this planet. You can shout numbers and statistics at me and I will stagger at the dizzying heights they can reach but it gives me no true sense of scale. Only when I see the images of factories with their endless conveyors of tins / plastic containers / jars / etc / does my mind begin to think about how many tins / plastic containers / jars / etc / that particular conveyor produces each day, and then how many conveyors there in that factory, then how many factories there are in the country, the world...? And on it goes... endlessly... through transportation, raw materials my mind drifts to the consumers as I casually throw away another beer can whilst writing

I always think of Koyaanisqatsi and those slow motion shots of the endless processions of baby chicks being sorted, tagged and classifed and I just daydream about the sheer number of chicks required for that factory to keep running every day.

I'm beginning to think this world may be in some serious trouble.

currently listening to: Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a 17 Year-Old Girl

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy Xmas (Tour is Over)

And it's over... 16 days in a blink of an eye. The homecoming is always a little hard to adjust to, a sense of sadness takes hold as the reality of life slips back into focus. It's good to be home among friends and family, but you miss the freedom of not staying in one place.

It was a great tour... I won't bore you with details - it'll be like listening to someone elses drug story - but suffice to say I feel immensely refreshed and excited. The Media Lounge was more than succesful and we've had some very exciting job offers... most of which we've taken. I've signed up to drive the boys, do merch and the occasional visuals for eight weeks, starting end of this month. This means I'll be heading out into Europe which I am fantasically excited about - through Spain, Germany, France, Belgium...

I was going to post some lovely pictures that we had accumilated over time, but alas Blogger is not updating piccies at the moment.

currently listening to: Cat Power - Empty Shell

Thursday, March 02, 2006


My entire blog appears to have shrunk...

Curious. Mabe my words carry less meaning now.

currently listening to: the Miramar Disaster live

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Some phone snaps

Here's a few photos I've squeezed off on my state of the art camera-phone... these things will be huge one day.

Huxley gazing at the snows of Aberdeen...

Driver Johns view from the front

Our view at the back of the bus

Si 65 and Chris Clark pre-gig

currently listening to: Chris Clark soundchecking

Still going

There is a certain feeling that you get when on tour that I have yet to experience in any other situation; a gentle and gradual loosening of your awareness of the real world. When on holiday, or perhaps a job away from home, you are always aware of the work / bills / worries of life that will await you when you return home. Not on tour, though...
on tour the real world becomes an abstract concept, a memory that fades with each day and is almost too easy to pass off as a dream you can only half remember.

I like it... it's one of the rare few occasions when I feel genuinely relaxed. We have been granted the right to indulge ourselves as the artists we are / believe ourselves to be and have had the pressures of normal, everyday life taken away from us. It says a lot about the complexities of the modern existence if you can get a better nights sleep in a coffin sized bunk on a moving bus than in your own bed. That tax issue is forgotten, the overdue gas bill a hazy notion... even friends become fleeting thoughts.

Waking up in a new city is a strange sensation, especially as because we travel over night we rarely experience any of the traveling. When I was the driver I felt every bump in the road and saw every speck of the environment - now I wake in a pitch black bunk and only know where I am when I open the door to leave. I can't accurately explain the shock I felt when I left the dark and quiet cocoon of the bus and stepped onto a busy main road in Glasgow. It was like being in Quantum Leap, I even uttered "oh boy" and quickly pulled the door shut as a bus roared inches past me.

The gigs are going very well. Most audiences are extremely responsive and the visuals are going down very well, I even signed my first autograph last night... the work is great, and while I'm loving playing live and being on stage and all that, my memories of this tour will always be the moments; being caught in a blizzard in Aberdeen, listening to Tom Waits and drinking JD as dawn comes up, Joe's Bob Dylan impression, ad infinitum.

There's talk of a 6 week European tour next month. I'm torn... it would be the most fun I could ever imagine (just say that sentence again: "A 6 week European tour" - who could not be tempted by that?) but it would be a long time to be away from home and this life does take it out of you. Then again - that's a hell of a lot of experiences you could have in a short space of time, and it would stay with me forever. I've always wanted my job to take me around the world, this could be the beginning of all that...

Stoke tonight. Leeds tomorrow. The homecoming gig and half way point on Friday. You can never go home, even when the tour is over, you can never go home.

currently listening to: Tom Waits - Heart Attack and Vine